Breath of fresh Eyre: drama comes to Solihull School

It’s been an autumn of arts at the school, with pupils staging two productions, including a bespoke performance of a Charlotte Bronte classic

Ten of Solihull School’s sixth form drama students presented an innovative and intimate staging of Jane Eyre, in which theatre arts scholars Emma Hadley and Gwynneth Horbury alternated in the roles of Jane and Bertha for each of the four evening showings.

The lower school had previously performed Mermaid, a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic by Polly Teale, which featured 20 pupils from years eight and nine in a major production in the school’s Bushell Hall.

The performance was directed by two of the school’s sixth form drama students, Elle Miles and Kate Stumper, and was notable for a fantastic set – complete with a pier covered with fishing nets and shells – created by theatre arts scholar Holly McClenaghan.

Finally, Solihull has just hosted its first professional production, with the acclaimed touring company Dyad Productions performing a one-night public showing of Christmas Gothic.

The stage performances followed hot on the heels of the school’s first arts gala, which was so successful it will become an annual event.

The gala, in aid of the Child Brain Injury Trust, featured a range of performances including aerial acrobatics, piano solos, a strings ensemble, xylophone trio, drama in German and Spanish and Shakespearean monologues.

James Hammond, head of drama at Solihull School, said: “I was hugely impressed with how both our lower school and sixth form performers took to their roles, on and off stage, in the recent productions of Mermaid and Jane Eyre.”

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